Chilam balam, media, responsibility and honorby Björn Pohl - UKC Jan/2009
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Chilam Balam. I guess most of you have been following the discussion on 8a.nu. They way I see it, the discussion has been, for the most part, very good and necessary. The way I see it, a few questions have arisen, such as:
Our sport is based on trust, and if a climber's word isn't good enough, this base would fall appart. However, if you claim to have climbed the most difficult route in the world and has a dubious track record, it's inevitable people are going to ask questions and demand some kind of proof. Barnabé Fernandez knew what was waiting when he contacted Desnivel , claiming his ascent. After all, it wasn't the first time he climbed a controversial route. According to Alexander Huber, he chopped off natural holds when Iker Pou found a new way (avoiding the artificial holds) of solving the crux of Orujo, his 9a+ at Archidona.
Another problem is that there were no rubber anywhere on the top section when Dani Andrada tried the route just three weeks after the FA.
Of course Barnabé doesn't have to prove anything to anyone if he doesn't want to. After all, there are no laws or regulations. But then again, if he doesn't want to make the small effort of doing this, we don't have any obligation to believe what he says. We can believe what we want. Remember he chose the attention when he could have chosen not to tell anyone. If he's climbed the route, this is a sad situation, but he should have seen it coming and thus he brought it on himself.
What I believe?
I'm not convinced either way as there are fairly strong evidence pointing in both directions. I think media has a responsibilty to sometimes be inconvenient, but at the same time it's also extremely important not to let innocent heads roll. This I've learnt the hard way, and I don't want to make the same mistake again.
What do you think?
Photo by David Manilla showing Barnabé Fernandez on 'Chilam balam'